OpinionU.S. News

The Iranian regime is an existential threat to America

The only way to stop Iran’s terrorist octopus is to deliver a crushing blow to its head.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh meets with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran, March 26, 2024. Source: Screenshot.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh meets with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran, March 26, 2024. Source: Screenshot.
Vahid Beheshti
Vahid Beheshti is a former prisoner of the Iranian regime and a leader of the Iranian opposition in exile.

Americans must wake up to the existential threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. U.S. democracy and Western democracy in general are under unprecedented attack by forces that are headed by the extremist fundamentalist regime in Tehran. The regime is a giant octopus that through its numerous tentacles is trying to undermine these democracies systematically. 

Within the United States, Teheran uses clandestine means to undermine democratic values in several ways:

It seeks to create a global axis of nations to subvert Western democracy and promote authoritarian ideologies.

It is engaged in a systematic attack on U.S. strategic companies and infrastructure through cyberattacks.

It is seeking to radicalize U.S. citizens through social media, religious centers and similar avenues via groups with both direct and indirect links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

It kidnaps dual nationals and Western citizens and holds them hostage. This provides the Iranian regime with valuable funding through ransoms and the ability to influence U.S. and Western foreign policy.

Iran lobbies U.S. government bodies and Congress using groups connected to the regime in order to circumvent U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Its aim is to propagate the regime’s extremist agenda. On occasion, such efforts involve those who seemingly oppose the regime. They have often succeeded in influencing U.S. foreign policy towards effectively appeasing the regime and giving it a valuable lifeline in time and funds.

Iran has undertaken a coordinated campaign of intimidation on U.S. soil that targets all those brave enough to stand up to it by raising awareness of the threats posed to the U.S. by the regime.

America’s current policy towards the regime is appeasement. That is why the United States has been ineffective in stopping the regime’s campaign of global destabilization, such as Iran’s proxy Houthi terrorists’ attacks on global shipping. Continuation of such policies will only encourage the Houthis, Hamas and Hezbollah in their terrorist activities, including on U.S. soil.

The Iranian regime is also very adept at avoiding sanctions, as demonstrated by recent cases involving two U.K. clearing banks.

Current U.S. policies will only put more American soldiers and citizens at risk. Even the U.S. proscription of the IRGC as a terror organization did not prevent U.S. soldiers from being killed by IRGC proxies.

It is essential to adopt a much stronger stance against the IRGC by implementing a plan that begins with the global proscription of the IRGC. This is one of the few effective non-violent measures that will thwart the reach of the Iranian regime’s terrorism, as it will make any contact with the IRGC an international criminal offense, something no sanction will do.

Global proscription will encompass the entirety of the IRGC and is thus much more effective than sanctioning individual members of it. Proscription will also stop foreign companies with any links to the United States and other Western countries from dealing with the IRGC.

These measures should be taken because it has long since been clear that the Iranian regime only responds to pressures it cannot avoid and potentially threaten its existence—like global proscription.

Furthermore, anyone who wants to preserve U.S. democracy must understand that any group advising the U.S. government not to take a strong stance against Iran and the IRGC is simply playing into the hands of the regime.

The U.S. and its partners must realize that the only way to stop this evil octopus from threatening the lives of their citizens is to deal a crushing blow to its head. This could enable the 80 million Iranians who want freedom from the regime’s tyranny to liberate themselves.

Iranians who desire freedom are looking for any chance to depose their despotic overlords. They must be helped in any way possible because the fall of the regime is an essential requirement for peace in the Middle East. Without its head, the tentacles of the octopus will quickly die.

I have spent more than a year of my life participating in a sit-down protest outside the U.K. Foreign Office, which included 72 days on a hunger strike and a two-week stay in a hospital. I and others did this with the sole aim of stopping Western appeasement of the Iranian regime and enabling the proscription of the IRGC.

I recently traveled to Ukraine and was the first Iranian opposition leader to speak to the Israeli Knesset. Now, I am heading to the U.S., invited by the Middle East Forum, to explain to U.S. policymakers that tomorrow might be too late.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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